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Electrical Panel Cooling System

In this article, we are going to be looking at the panel cooling system. We'll cover the type of cooling used, how it functions, and why we use it.

In this article, we are going to be looking at the electrical panel cooling system.

We’re going to cover the type of cooling used, how it functions, and why we use cooling in the first place.

In a previous article, we covered the basics of an Electrical Control Panel.

Now we’re going to take a closer look at some of the other important components that go towards making up the panel.

If we look at the panel from the front, on the left-hand door, towards the bottom of the door, we have a cut-out and a plastic cover on the outside.

There is another one on the right-hand door, towards the top of the door.

When we open the doors, we can see that the one on the left-hand door has a fan on the inside, and the one on the right has nothing but the plastic vent cover.

The panel cooling system works by sucking in cool air at the bottom vent, and because heat rises, the hot air exits out of the top vent.

Electrical Panel Thermostat

To regulate the heat inside the panel, it is fitted with an enclosure thermostat.

Why do we need to do this? Well, It really depends on what environment our panel is going to be situated in.

If the panel is going to be housed in a warm control room, similar to where our panel will be on a wastewater plant, then to maintain the integrity of the components in the enclosure, we need to make sure that the ambient temperature and humidity are taken into account.

Also, when the panel is powered up, the components themselves generate heat, but to keep them in a safe working range, we sometimes need to make sure that they are kept cool.

Think of your house in the warmer months. The cooling fan on to keep you cool.

On the other hand, in cold buildings with no heating and lots of moisture around, to keep the components dry and moisture free, we need to keep them warm.

Think of your house in the colder months. Heating on to keep you nice and warm and to remove moisture.

An enclosure thermostat works with a heating or cooling device to maintain a safe working temperature within the enclosure and to safeguard against condensation, humidity, and frost.

They can be wired normally open or normally closed, depending on the application.

For a cooling application – to switch on a fan when the temperature is high –  and to reduce the enclosure temperature, it would be wired as a normally open.

With the temperature rising, the contact will close once the temperature rises above the set point. This would then enable the fan to operate.

For a heating application – to switch on a heater when the temperature is low – and to increase the enclosure temperature, it would be wired as a normally closed.

With the temperature rising, the contact will open once the temperature goes above the set point. This would then disable the heater.

However, in our panel, we are using a fan to cool the enclosure.

The enclosure thermostat is not connected to the PLC, but sometimes it can be to display an enclosure internal temperature alarm.

In this case, the enclosure thermostat is connected directly to the fan on the door and switches on and off independently of the PLC.

Summary

So to sum it all up, here is what we covered in this article:

– The panel cooling system works by sucking in cool air at the bottom vent, and because heat rises, the hot air exits out of the top vent.

– To regulate the heat inside the panel, it is fitted with an enclosure thermostat.

– An enclosure thermostat works with a heating or cooling device to maintain a safe working temperature within the enclosure and to safeguard against condensation, humidity, and frost. They can be wired normally open or normally closed, depending on the application.

– For a cooling application – to switch on a fan when the temperature is high –  and to reduce the enclosure temperature, the thermostat would be wired as a normally open.

– For a heating application – to switch on a heater when the temperature is low – and to increase the enclosure temperature, the thermostat would be wired as a normally closed.

– The enclosure thermostat is not connected to the PLC, but sometimes it can be to display an enclosure internal temperature alarm. In this case, the enclosure thermostat is connected directly to the fan on the door and switches on and off independently of the PLC.

That’s it for this article! Hopefully, you’ve now got a greater understanding of control panel cooling systems, why we use them, and how they work!

This article was brought to you by RealPars in partnership with Pro-control in the Netherlands.

They are experts at control system design and industrial automation. They have a team of world-class automation engineers and have been designing and implementing industrial control systems in different industries for many years.

If you want to get in contact with them, you can check out their website at pro-control.nl.

Thank you so much for watching, sharing, and encouraging this community with your voice. 

Got a friend, client, or colleague who could use some of this information? Please share this article.

The RealPars Team

By Shahpour Shapournia

By Shahpour Shapournia

Business Developer, RealPars

Posted on Nov 11, 2019

By Shahpour Shapournia

Business Developer, RealPars

Posted on Nov 11, 2019

RealPars is the world's largest online learning platform for automation engineers.

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